Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

If my router keeps losing connectivity does that mean I'm being hacked?

My question concerns a possible security breach to my network. When my
router goes offline, and this happens quite often, would I be wrong in thinking
that someone might be trying to hack into my network via the radio signal being
beamed from my router? The way I usually resolve this is to unplug it and then
replug the router and I can get right back online. What can cause this sudden
loss of internet connection through my router? Can you think of ways of
preventing this from happening again? Or the ways of stopping it all
together?

In this excerpt from
Answercast #97
I look at some problems with a router that disconnects
regularly. It’s probably not a hacker.

]]>

Router being hacked

So to answer the very first question, yes, I believe you’re wrong. No, I don’t think anybody’s trying to hack your router.

I think you just have a connectivity problem. I think that there are a couple of different things that can be diagnosed here.

Failing router connection

To be honest, the very first thing I would do in a situation like this (since it all seems to be focusing around that router) is I would try swapping that router for a different one. It’s very possible that the router is simply having an issue staying connected.

The other thing that I would do is, of course, take a look at your internet connection itself. It is very possible that the internet connection itself is dropping out. That can happen for any number of different of reasons. I’ve had it happen here at my home simply because a wire outside my house got wet.

There are many reasons that that kind of thing can happen and it’s very rare that it has anything to do with a potential security breach.

So I would actually start investigating the router. I would start investigating your internet connection itself, possibly with the help of your ISP.

Router disconnects

I do have an article, “My router disconnects every few days. What do I do?” That also covers the same kind of topic that I would refer you to.

But ultimately, I want to put your mind at rest to begin with. I really don’t think this is security related at all. I really think that this is something a lot more benign; a lot more boring; and that is simply a router or a connectivity problem.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Next from Answercast 97- How can I prevent neighbors from accessing the open WiFi hotspot I provide to my customers?

Do this

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

6 comments on “If my router keeps losing connectivity does that mean I'm being hacked?”

  1. After a few years of good service, my router suddenly began disconnecting and having to be rebooted. Verizon tech support was able to do some testing on their end and, while I was on the phone, reported that the router was not performing well. They sent a new one by UPS that arrived next day. Problem solved.

    Reply
  2. Also most modern routers allow an email notification, for any and every attempted unauthorised intrusion on it. Set it up and set your mind at rest.

    Reply
  3. Could also be a power issue. Router plugged into the same circuit with some appliance that has a motor (microwave, well, furnace). Make sure your plugged in to a good circuit.

    Reply
  4. I had the same problem some years back in windy or rainy weather – frequent drop-outs. I complained to Version (several times) and finally a tech checked my input. She found bad cables and connectors. She was surprised I was getting anything. After she replaced ALL their lines (and a splitter) there’s been no problems.

    Reply
  5. Hasn’t happened for a while, but my router would lose the internet connection every few days (my router and modem are two separate boxes). Logging into the router and clicking the “DHCP Renew” button. I don’t really know what it does or why it works, but it’s generally faster than rebooting the router (less than 30 seconds).

    It hasn’t done it for a while … the mysteries of computers!

    Reply
  6. While browsing the net, my connection would slow to a stand still. Not able to do anything in my browsers. Several times a day. Almost every day. Since the modem router worked okay other times, I determined it had to be security. Changing passwords didn’t help. Hiding the ssid did not help. Or a couple of other settings. What did fix it was allowing only the mac addresses of my devices to connect. Have only had a problem 1 time since.

    Reply

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.